Does your toddler refuse to eat the vegetables you serve him? Do most of the vegetables on his plate end up in the dustbin? Is getting toddlers to eat vegetables no less than a battle of wits for you? If all your efforts to make your toddler consume a healthy diet are proving futile, then it is time to give this post a read on how to get toddler to eat vegetables!
Your toddler and veggies are not the best of buddies. He may detest veggies with all his might. When you serve vegetables on his plate, chances are that your toddler will push it aside. But slipping veggies into his favorite meals and doing a fun presentation can get him to eat, or at least give it a try. Want to know ten fun tips that can help you know how to get your toddler to eat vegetables? Read on!
1. Do Not Force:
Do not pester your toddler to eat veggies, or any other food for that matter. Forcing and punishing him will create a negative meal experience, which can increase his picky eating tendencies. Encourage him to taste the veggies if he is not excited about eating the whole bite. Do not get upset if he refuses to eat. Eventually, he will try it, so keep introducing new vegetables from time to time to tantalize his palate.
2. Snacking On Veggies:
Keep a bowl of baby carrots, celery sticks or cherry tomatoes ready for a quick and handy snack. Top these vegetables with peanut butter sauce. No toddler can refuse this. But these veggies are potential choking hazards. So make sure you keep an eye on him while he munches these veggies.
[ Read: Vegetable Recipes For Toddlers ]
3. Sneak The Veggies In:
You can hide vegetables in everything you cook like juices, smoothies, pasta, casserole dishes, sauce, muffins, pies, scrambled eggs, etc. So puree all the veggies and put in his favorite food. You can also add additional flavors like garlic or butter to make the vegetables more appetizing. Trust us, he won’t complain even a wee bit.
4. Cut Veggies Into Fun Shapes:
This is one of the smartest ways to get toddlers to eat vegetables. Sometimes, your toddler may get bored of his regular meal. Making the veggies look fun can make an enormous difference to his appetite. Cut the vegetables into fascinating shapes and sizes using a cookie cutter. Or create colorful faces and other designs with vegetables. You can make a face on a vegetable sandwich using sliced olives for eyes, tomato for ears, carrot stick for the nose, bell pepper for mustaches. Add any other impish feature that you think may appeal to your toddler. The other easy way is to cut veggies into small pieces and arrange on a colorful plate.
5. Serve With A Tasty Dip:
Toddlers like the idea of dipping and eating finger foods. So, give your toddler a yummy dip to dunk his veggies. You can serve different types of dips like peanut butter, yogurt, cheese dip, hummus, ranch dressing, and applesauce. He may, at first turn up his nose, but eventually, it will become a sort of game for him.
[ Read: High Calorie Foods For Toddlers ]
6. Play A Game With Veggies:
The sight of Broccoli can be repulsive for a toddler who is hoping for a plate of macaroni and cheese. But if you tell him that he is a Triceratops, who needs to eat five mini trees to beat a T-Rex, then those florets will become a lot more appealing. Relating foods to the things he loves is a great way to make him take a few healthy bites. Also, giving interesting names will make the veggies less boring.
7. Go Vegetable Shopping With Your Toddler:
Take your toddler to a grocery store or the farmers market and let him select the vegetables. He may choose a bright red tomato, a green zucchini, and a shiny purple eggplant and will ask you to prepare his chosen food for dinner. If possible, plant a kitchen garden with your toddler and teach him how to grow his favorite veggies.
[ Read: Pasta Recipes For Toddlers ]
8. Let Him Help You Cook:
Your toddler is more likely to eat his creations. So, if possible, let your toddler help you prepare the foods. Give your little assistant odd jobs like washing the lettuce, tearing the spinach or scrubbing the potatoes. Let him make his tacos with minced chicken, cheese, tomato and shredded lettuce.
9. Provide An Incentive:
If nothing works, then offer your toddler an incentive, like a bar of chocolate or his favorite dessert. It will surely make your toddler finish his bowl of veggies. Tell your toddler that if he does not eat the dinner quickly, he will not get the dessert. Or reward every bite of veggie he takes with a sticker or a candy. Ask him to go ahead and collect more!
[ Read: Nutritious Snacks For Toddlers ]
10. Set An Example:
It is hard to get your toddler to eat asparagus if you don’t go near it. So be a good role model. Sit down with your toddler at dinner and start eating the colorful veggies.
Lastly, keep trying. Toddlers are very picky when it comes to food. So even if your toddler refuses to eat the greens, continue putting vegetables on his plate. Your persistence will surely pay off one day.
Hope these tips will help you how to get your toddler to eat vegetables? Share your ideas and tips with other moms.
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